Don79

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Hi,

Just signed up to, hopefully, get some expertise advice on what car kit to get for my son and myself. He's 9 now and when he was 3 i managed to get a lunchbox together somehow. That's about my only experience from before other then trying some Hobbyking vehicles with some upgrades at the same time. They were to much of a hassle though.

I thought it'd be fun for us to try and build one together now that we can drive a bit with. I'd like to think we're fairly cautious when driving but what kit could be recommended that has some speed and can take somewhat of a beating? I Think we'll have a blast building it but at the same time when it's built I doubt we'll have fun repairing it if it keeps breaking from my experience with the lunchbox that has held up really well but have had to be repaired a few times.

Maybe I'm asking to much and should buy some RTR monster in all aluminum but then we miss out on the actual building part of it. So any advice on what to get would be appreciated. 

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A lot of the answer depends on where you want to run it.

I have always used 4Wd or big wheels as we run off road, parks gravel, BMX tracks etc. BUT if your running mostly on flat then 4Wd or big wheels are a waste.

So where you intending to run it (oh and you will need 2,,one for him and one for you!!)

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RTR monsters in aluminium are seldom very reliable. For one thing all but the very best RTRs are usually built to a very low standard by sweatshop workers with no love for the hobby, so usually need to be pulled apart and rebuilt in order to get them to run properly.

Secondly aluminium might look very pretty but is only suitable for certain applications. A car that is all aluminium tends to bend and tweak very easily in a collision and weigh far more than it should. There is a reason that top-of-the-line race models feature carbon and plastic in their construction as well as aluminium. Different materials are simply more suited to different purposes. 

If you want something simple, rugged and virtually Indestructible, the Mad Bull is an excellent choice. I bought one as my first hobby grade RC and while I have now expanded my fleet considerably, it still sees regular use as it is a lot of fun, very capable on different types of terrain, pretty much zero hassle as it requires minimal maintenance and I can rag it about safe in the knowledge that it can take a great deal of punishment without breaking.

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Hi,

Well its mostly on dirt, gravel and concrete. I figured we'd use the lunchbox and whatever else we end up with. :D

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Hi,

Looks like it could be fun! Any obvious upgrades one should straight away while building it? Shocks, bearings, anything else? 

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Definitely bearings. Shocks maybe not as oil shocks on those swing axle buggies don't work great on the rear. Maybe some foam inserts for the tyres? Will make much less bouncy and more controllable. Search for Schumacher part u6541 and get 2 pairs. They are the cheapest option although they will still come up a little small. 

Paint it a loud colour! 

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The Madbull would be a good match to the Lunchbox right, solid rear axle, a bit of fun, but what about something woth independent suspension that will drive better? Any of the buggy range will run fine on gravel, dirt and concrete, it doesn't needcto have big wheels.

DT03 is the modern entry level 2wd buggy or TT02B for 4wd. Both should work well. Or many of the rerelease models, Mantaray, Boomerang, Novafox are all a similar price with similar performance to the modern ones but look better, well maybe not the Mantaray...

Just add bearings and run them in standard form (they all come with oil shocks), upgrade what breaks

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14 hours ago, Don79 said:

I'd like to think we're fairly cautious when driving

Mad Bull gets the vote, because it is almost entirely covered by balloon tires, which are hard to break.  

But Mad Bull alone would be lonely if it's the one suggestion.  

If Mad Bull is good with 4 tires, 6 tires must be better!!  

Their bodies are Lexan, so they can take some beating.  

uIfDYPK.jpg

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To be fair once I got an independent suapension buggy I got rid of all the swing axle stuff, but that's just me. 

My DT03 (kits are the Racing Fighter or Neo Fighter) is fun, but it needs a but of tuning and decent tyres to get the best from it. The DT03T (T for truck) Aqroshot could be good. Comes with truck wheels. Get some bigger better tyres if you need them (I have Schumacher racing truck tyres on mine which are ace on grass and loose). I grafted a mad bull body onto mine because I love the grasshopper 2 (same body shape). All they really need from stock are bearings, and some weight stuck to the front end. I used full size car adhesive wheel balance weights. They cost a couple ok f quid off ebay for 50 grams. Get all that stashed around the front end and makes handling balance much better. After that some much stiffer rear springs help, but you can go step by step. 

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In addition to my DT-01 Mad Bull I also have a DT-02 Desert Gator and DT-03T Aqroshot. The independent suspension chassis do indeed handle better than the Mad Bull, but they're not as rugged. I feel that I need to treat them with a bit more care than the DT-01. For carefree driving, the Mad Bull is very hard to beat.

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52 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

To be fair once I got an independent suapension buggy I got rid of all the swing axle stuff, but that's just me. 

My DT03 (kits are the Racing Fighter or Neo Fighter) is fun, but it needs a but of tuning and decent tyres to get the best from it. The DT03T (T for truck) Aqroshot could be good. Comes with truck wheels. Get some bigger better tyres if you need them (I have Schumacher racing truck tyres on mine which are ace on grass and loose). I grafted a mad bull body onto mine because I love the grasshopper 2 (same body shape). All they really need from stock are bearings, and some weight stuck to the front end. I used full size car adhesive wheel balance weights. They cost a couple ok f quid off ebay for 50 grams. Get all that stashed around the front end and makes handling balance much better. After that some much stiffer rear springs help, but you can go step by step. 

I will definitely agree with this. I will also throw the DF02 and TT02B kits into the mix. I can definitely see why the rc needs to be rugged, but for what you describe, I will say that the DT-03 DF-02 and TT02B kits are plenty rugged. Here's my take on it. If I think back at what I liked an RC to be at that age, and also taking into account how you use them, i.e, gravel and other flat surfaces, I would want something agile and fast, that would be able to slide, do donuts, and have enough grip to be properly drivable. Yes, the big wheel kits are fun in many ways, but for me at least, they do lose some of their appeal on gravel and concrete. However a TT02B MS or a Avante Aero tearing it up in the gravel on a set of Schumacher rally tyres is a ton of fun. The same goes for a Neo Fighter on a set of Schumacher Mini Spike tyres. I tend to agree that I will generally avoid the solid axle models when I actually buy them to really drive them. Those kits also have a ton of hopups available which is kinda fun in the future, and it could help keep a kid interested. If you get a kit such as the TT02B MS, it already have some basic good things included. Ball bearings, alloy drive shaft, CVA shocks and adjustable turnbuckles. The DT-03 Neo Fighter comes with CVA shocks, but it will need ball bearings. Can't remember if the Aero Avante DF-02 comes with ball bearings, but I think so. It definitely comes with CVA shocks.

All in all, i think a kid of that age likes the idea of speed and wheels flinging gravel everywhere. If you were running in more rough offroad conditions I would look at other options, but in your case I'd go for fast, agile and sleek. 

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Thanks for all the replies, truly fantastic helpful spirit around here!

Started looking at all the different models and I am fairly sure my son would go for the Nissan Titan if he got to choose. He likes the SCT look, even though this one isn't the prettiest I've seen. Maybe one can help it a little with some new tires or something. Could that be a viable option if you disregard the looks? The DT02 hasn't been mentioned as much as others in the replies though I've noticed. If it isn't I'll let him choose between the mad bull or one of the other recomendations.

Thanks again!

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The DT02 is pretty much a short wheel base DT03, so definitely a viable option. If you decide on a buggy check the different versions though as some come with ball bearings, some don't etc.

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Yes, DT02 is a good option too.  

As discussed already, it's not as bulletproof as Mad Bull, but it's a fun buggy.  

 

Now, if your son is into short course trucks, maybe Turnigy SCT 2WD brushless might be something to consider?  I don't have one.  But from what I can see, it might be a bit more capable than my Sand Rover.  It's one of the non-Tamiya things I am tempted.  

 

Or if you want a bit more established truck, 2WD Traxxas Slash? (which I also don't have, but very tempted).  They have 4WD version too, but I'm a 2WD fan.  Wrestling to control a 2WD is more fun for me.  

In terms of size, Tamiya is smallest at 413mm length.  Turnigy is 530mm, Traxxas is 570mm.  Traxxas, in my opinion, is built for American farms.  For a city dweller like me, it's big.  

 

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2 hours ago, Juggular said:

Yes, DT02 is a good option too.  

As discussed already, it's not as bulletproof as Mad Bull, but it's a fun buggy.  

 

Now, if your son is into short course trucks, maybe Turnigy SCT 2WD brushless might be something to consider?  I don't have one.  But from what I can see, it might be a bit more capable than my Sand Rover.  It's one of the non-Tamiya things I am tempted.  

 

Or if you want a bit more established truck, 2WD Traxxas Slash? (which I also don't have, but very tempted).  They have 4WD version too, but I'm a 2WD fan.  Wrestling to control a 2WD is more fun for me.  

In terms of size, Tamiya is smallest at 413mm length.  Turnigy is 530mm, Traxxas is 570mm.  Traxxas, in my opinion, is built for American farms.  For a city dweller like me, it's big.  

 

I had a Turnigy truck. Its OK, but does need a bit of finessing in terms of build and I found it a bit frustrating in the end when running on grass a lot because it just kept tipping over when corning. My dt03t handles better so I sold the turnigy truck to leave my dt03t as my big well runner. 

The Nissan titan will be a fun kit. 

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I tried to find the tt-02b ms to compare but cannot find it in Europe, is it discontinued? Figured that might be the foolproof way to go.

If I go with the Nissan, is it worth getting say a sports tuned motor for it? Have one in my lunchbox but never really compared it rather started with it straight away.

I'm not trying to be annoying, but there's so many options!

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Yes, the Ms is discontinued. If you want 4wd just get a regular tt02b (Neo Scorcher, Dual Ridge or Plasma Edge II) and upgrade bits as they break. 

If you are thinking of a better motor for the Nissan (or tt02b for that matter), get a sensored brushless motor around 3000-3500kv. This will work straight away the Tamiya tble02s ESC once you get to the right mode (it's all on the instructions) you are likely to get with the kit and is way better than any brushed motor. For my first DT03 I got a Speed Passion 13.5R MMM from Modelsport in the UK and for a few pounds extra they soldered some wires and tamiya plugs onto the motor as I couldn't solder at that point, so I could plug it straight in. If you are going that way get the steel 19t pinion (tamiya part 54629) to gear it appropriately, but more importantly to reinforce the pinion for the torque of the motor. If you can solder then just trim the plugs off the blue (a) yellow (b) and orange (c) leads on the esc and solder them to the plugs on the motor. 

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2 hours ago, Don79 said:

I tried to find the tt-02b ms to compare but cannot find it in Europe, is it discontinued? Figured that might be the foolproof way to go.

If I go with the Nissan, is it worth getting say a sports tuned motor for it? Have one in my lunchbox but never really compared it rather started with it straight away.

I'm not trying to be annoying, but there's so many options!

https://rc-qa.rcmart.com/Tamiya-TT02B-MS-110-EP-Offroad-Kit-84418_62632

You can get a TT02B MS here. It was a limited offer.

There are in fact a few other bits included in the MS besides those I mentioned. It also comes with carbon reinforced shock towers and battery holder. It's a pretty awesome value package. If you go that route, remember to purchase foams and tyres.

Another thing I really like about both the TT02B and DT03, is the fact that they fit regular battery packs, not just old school stick packs.

Stick with a kit. Building is part of the fun.

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Customs in Sweden along with our, currently, weak currency makes it that I have to buy within Europe unfortunately. So I'll have to go with Tamico or something. Is there any recommended brushless engine for these kits that does not cost as much as the kit itself? Seems they are more exepensive now than when I last bought one.

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You don't need a whole brushless system in f the kit comes with the Tamiya TBLE02S ESC. This is a sensored brushless esc. You just need a motor. From Sweden the UK shops should still be quite good value. Otherwise try hobbyKing. They have an EU warehouse and decent price motors. 

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20 hours ago, Don79 said:

Customs in Sweden along with our, currently, weak currency makes it that I have to buy within Europe unfortunately. So I'll have to go with Tamico or something. Is there any recommended brushless engine for these kits that does not cost as much as the kit itself? Seems they are more exepensive now than when I last bought one.

https://tamico.de/Absima-Brushless-Motor-Thrust-BL-ECO-3421KV-1-10

I have used this in my TT02B and currently have it in my DT-03. Great all around motor.

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If you want to utilise the speed controller that  usually comes free with the kit, you will want a sensored brushless motor. It is not compatible with the sensorless ones unfortunately.

I would also recommend the Speed Passion MMM 13.5 turn motor. I use several of these with the Tamiya standard TBLE-02 speed controller in a number of applications and all have worked flawlessly so far.

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On 5/11/2019 at 5:32 AM, DK308 said:

https://rc-qa.rcmart.com/Tamiya-TT02B-MS-110-EP-Offroad-Kit-84418_62632

You can get a TT02B MS here. It was a limited offer.

There are in fact a few other bits included in the MS besides those I mentioned. It also comes with carbon reinforced shock towers and battery holder. It's a pretty awesome value package. If you go that route, remember to purchase foams and tyres.

Another thing I really like about both the TT02B and DT03, is the fact that they fit regular battery packs, not just old school stick packs.

Stick with a kit. Building is part of the fun.

Tt02b ms comes with fiberglass not carbon shock towers. The rear should be fine but the front break, i had to upgrade to aluminum because at the time tamiya didnt sell the carbon fiber towers. 

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The fiberglass, carbon and alloy shock tower options are all great of you want to improve the car's handling, but if longevity is your aim, I'd argue that you'd be better off with the stock rubbery plastic ones. They flex. A lot. This doesn't do the handling any favours as they flex before the shocks start to compress, but the flexibility allows them to shrug off impacts that would crack the hop-up towers and/or rip them from their bulkheads. 

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